1. Semiconductor Device Trends and Diversifying Customer Needs in the IoT Era
With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), semiconductor devices are being incorporated into all types of devices, with a wider range of applications, not only for smartphones and personal computers, but also for sensing, communications, big data processing, data storage, and more. Demand for these devices is also steadily increasing. Materials and architecture are steadily evolving to improve the performance of, not only cutting-edge memory and logic devices, but also power semiconductor devices and various types of sensors.
Customer needs are also changing for semiconductor device manufacturing equipment. For example, the miniaturization and increasingly complex structure of cutting-edge devices makes it more difficult to process them into the shapes as designed. The many points where the designed pattern shapes differ from the actual patterned dimensions in complex fabrication processes need to be measured and checked. For next-generation power semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC), techniques for non-destructive inspection of wafer substrates are needed to reduce crystal defects. At the same time, in order to consistently manufacture high-performance devices, steps must be taken to reduce differences among the several metrology tools used in the semiconductor manufacturing process, so that every tool reports the same results.
The Hitachi Group will continue to provide technology and solutions to meet these diverse customer needs.
(Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation)